Monday, March 12, 2012

We Need To Talk About Kevin: Late Movie Review

We Need to Talk about Kevin.

Cast: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly

Writers: Lynne Ramsay, Rory Kinnear

Director: Lynne Ramsay

***'s out of four


Should we blame a person themselves for their actions,or do we blame that person's surroundings as an influence in their actions. That is the question that is constantly being debated  in this horror movie. Many times when a horrible crime is committed, people automatically blame the criminal's parents. They can't comprehend that someone could be so inherently evil themselves.   The nice thing about this movie is that there are no easy answers. Maybe the mother could have done more or maybe she could have done less.  Maybe Kevin was just born evil, I'm not sure.   I'm still wrestling with these moral dilemmas after seeing this myself.

Tilda Swinton plays Eva, a mother whose first son Kevin was involved with a horrible crime. Living alone and constantly being harassed by other town folks.  Eva tries to get a better understanding of why things turned so dark for her son, but as she looks back for answers, they become less and less clear. As a child, Kevin would constantly torment his mother every moment he could. She tries to explain this to her husband Franklin (John C. Reilly) and others, but no one believes her. After all how could a sweet boy like this really do all these horrible things. 

(Trailer Curtosey of BBC Films)

This is a move I could not get out of my head., and will be watching again very shortly.  It really makes you ask a lot of questions, but never gives you any full answers. For many of you this will be really annoying or quite engaging. The movie wisely shows you both sides of the nature vs nurture issue and let's you make up your own mind. There are moments when Eva does things out of anger that could have had an influence on her son. But when you see the things this kid does. I'm surprised she didn't kill him because he is a little shit even if some people choose to not see it. 

The whole cast is quite remarkable in this movie,and Tilda Swinton continues to amaze me with every role she tackles.  The other actor I want to give some praise to is Jasper Newell who plays Kevin when he is eight years old.  Not to ignore Ezra Miller who plays him as an adult, but Jasper really shows his chops playing opposite Swinton in some key scenes that shows just how evil this kid can be.   Even Damien from "The Omen" would think that this kid has gone too far with some of his actions.


Director Lynne Ramsey does get great performances out of her actors and I look forward to seeing some of her earlier pictures just for that reason alone.   The movie does have some great cinematography and has some really great shots too.  The only thing I disliked about the movie was the score.   A lot of it is this early  country or 60's pop songs that really took me out of the story.  It would have benefited more by using an actual score rather than just songs.  The music could have been used to help explain Eva's torment just a little better.

"We Need To Talk About Kevin" is a horror film for new parents. This would be a great one to watch with "Rosemary's Baby" or "The Omen."  But unlike those movies, this one doesn't go for the supernatural element and I think that  is what makes it more unsettling.


  1. This is one that I was really hoping to see, but I just kept missing out on it during the awards season. It sounds like Tilda is really amazing here, so I'm hoping to catch it soon on DVD. Great review!

  2. Thanks for your comment NTEMP. This movie also got me interested in reading the novel. The author of the book gave the movie high praise, but I heard the structure is very different.

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